NATO chief urges alliance members "to attenuate" conflict

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says it is important that members of the 28-nation military alliance "attenuate the level of conflict" after Turkish ministers were barred from traveling to Germany and the Netherlands, sparking tensions in the three NATO members.

Stoltenberg says NATO's strength is to allow a robust and open debate, but added a "rhetoric and a choice of words" should be dropped.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had directed verbal attacks at Germany and the Netherlands after Turkish politicians were stopped earlier this week from campaigning there ahead of the country's constitutional referendum next month. Ankara also has announced a series of political sanctions against the Netherlands.

Stoltenberg was in Copenhagen Thursday to meet with Danish lawmakers.